If you have followed me these last couple of weeks, you will remember that I wrote a series of strong statements about getting on with life. 'I will not be afraid. I will not expect an earthquake.' Blah, blah, blah.
I lied. I didn't mean to. I thought I was telling myself the truth and that if I said it, I would believe it. But I don't. It was a lie.
I expect an earthquake. I expect one, everyday, everywhere, all the time. On February 21st, I expected aftershocks. Aftershocks were reminders of what had happened. I didn't like them, they made me feel vulernable and nervous, but as the months went by, we became used to them. As the time past, I didn't feel even feel an aftershock under a 4 pointer. We worried less. We had some bad days when aftershocks were worse, or bigger, but those days were less frequent. We were in recovery mode.
February 22nd took away that new found freedom from fear. I think of those moments when the second earthquake struck and it comes back to me in slow motion. The shake started, another aftershock, it was big, no it was not just an aftershock. This was a another earthquake, bigger, more powerful, more destructive than the first. The earth is an uncertain place, more uncertain than I ever realised. To have a second earthquake, more devastating than the first, changed my world.
I started writing this acouple of days ago. So when Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake, an 8.9 that followed on the heals of a 7 pointer, my fears are confirmed. You can't count on earth to behave itself in any sort of order. Having had a natural disaster doesn't mean you dont' get another.
I expect an earthquake, and I have to get on with life while I do it. I remember the first time I had to deal with living on in the midst of life's difficulties. My father had a strange medical difficulty, his esaphagus tore open. The doctors assumed he would die. My eldest daughter was only six months old and such a happy, funny little baby. I sat in the waiting room, finding it so odd to laugh and play with the baby while my father was dying. (Dad lived on, for another 21 years and only recently passed away.) The expectation was that Dad would die, that night, or that week, or within six weeks, but life with my baby girl had to go on. I have to put into practice what I first started learning then, life must go on. No matter what happens in the world, we must make the best of the life we have now.
There are events that rob us of our security. Discovering unfaithfulness in a spouse can rob one of trust, being burgled takes away security, a death steals joy, earthquakes shake our confidence in the very earth. But we must live on through every horrible event in life. And we must find peace again. As a Christian, I find peace in the belief that God must be found in the midst of the chaos.
During this past week we've been planning a trip to the mountains for the weekend to enjoy the hotsprings. My son's birthday has just past and Izzi's birthday was coming, besides, Rosee had come home to see the for the first time since the earthquake. We needed the family time. It was hard to want to make the effort, but we needed to do it for the kids. Then the news about Japan broke. Ric and I sat there, watching the unbelieveable devastation hitting those people, feeling for them in a way we could only feel after experiencing the last six months of our lives. And we wondered if we should cancel our trip. How can we, of all people, go away and relax in hot pools while so much suffering was going on.
We went anyway. We couldn't cancel the trip. Our children needed family time, and we must go on with life. We all have to laugh, eat, celebrate and live even if we do it expecting an earthquake.